Norris lands pounds 150,000 roads lobby job

Steve Norris, the former transport minister, is well on the way to achieving his goal of making large amounts of money after he secured a pounds l50,000 job to head a lobbying group for lorry hauliers.

Mr Norris, who is to leave Parliament at the next election, resigned as transport minister in July because he said he could no longer afford to live on the salary and will take up the post of director-general of the Road Haulage Association in May, the probable month of the general election.

The appointment was immediately criticised by Labour. Brian Wilson, one of the party's transport team, said: "The impression of ministers legislating for the future lining of their pockets is hugely reinforced. This is a disgraceful transition from ministerial office to one of the most powerful lobbying organisations in the country. If this is allowed under the rules, there is something wrong with the rules."

Mr Norris who had already been considered as possible head of the Automobile Association and who is also likely to take up a one-day-a-month chairmanship of Capital City Bus, a London bus company, defended the appointment as having been approved by the Carlisle committee which vets former ministers' business appointments. He said the job is a fascinating challenge: "The truck is the least-loved element in the transport system and yet the most vital. While I will continue to do everything to ensure more freight is carried on rail, the reality is that most truck journeys are for 50 miles or less and there is no alternative."

It is not surprising that Mr Norris, who is widely liked both inside and outside Parliament ,was much sought after because of his media-friendly personality, to say nothing of his female-friendly personality which made him famous as the man with five mistresses, all featured prominently in the tabloids. However, it is completely unexpected for Mr Norris, who as transport minister was more effective than any other politician at toning down the roads-obsessed transport policy, to get into bed with the rabidly pro-roads RHA.

Mr Norris says he has not changed his views: "I have told them I am not going to argue for a massive road-building programme and the old `predict and provide' policies of the 1980s. I quite accept that some restrictions on lorries are perfectly reasonable but I will be arguing that local authorities must provide alternatives such as feeder distribution points on the outskirts of towns."

Mr Norris replaces the completely unknown Bryan Colley in the job and will bring a much more high-profile approach to the RHA. Privately, it is thought he is sceptical of the approach of the roads lobby, led by the British Roads Federation, which has continued to argue for massive road-building programmes which are now seen by the public as completely unacceptable. Mr Norris who was widely respected in the Department of Transport will undoubtedly be very useful at lobbying behind the scenes as well as being the public face of the lorry.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test